It is finally bed time, a parents favorite time of day. I am ready for the babies to go to sleep. Now. Mama needs a break. Time to breathe, to sit in silence. Time to shower, do dishes, read a book. Whatever I want. Bedtime = me time. Except my baby just won’t go to sleep. It is tempting to let her lay in her bed and cry until she falls asleep. Tempting but unfair.
Just because it is past 8 o’clock does not mean I get to stop being a parent. Night time parenting is real. Sometimes it sucks, sometimes it…who am I kidding? Night time parenting sucks. Nobody wants to be awake at 2 am with a crying baby. Nobody wants to be awake at 2 am with a happy baby! If this baby was a surprise, a heavily sought after baby, a miracle baby, a baby who took years of trying and infertility treatments, it does not matter. Nobody wants to be awake at 2 am with a baby. Period.
The sad reality is being a parent is a 24 hours 7 days a week job. There is no rest. There is no time where you can stop being a parent. Parenting happens, even at night. Is it fun? Heck no techno! But night time parenting is necessary and good. Responding to a baby or a child when they cry, even at night, is right! Babies and children are growing and learning, even at night. They need the cuddles, the nourishment and the comfort a parent brings in the middle of the night. Leaving a baby or child alone in their bed when they need a parent is the same as leaving a baby or child alone to fend for themselves during the day. Nobody is okay with leaving a baby or child alone all day long and it shouldn’t happen at night either.
Tonight hug your baby or child, give them an extra cuddle. Go to them when they need you. It won’t last forever, these days will soon be gone. If my 3 year old has taught me anything it is this, eventually your baby will sleep through the night. And so will you.